Star Wars’ Dafne Keen Discusses The Acolyte Show’s Relationship To The Prequel Trilogy

Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman in Logan.
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Star Wars franchise has continued to struggle on the big screen, but it’s found a home on Disney+ thanks to fan favorite shows like The Mandalorian and critically acclaimed creations like Andor. Each of those has given us a glimpse at a part of the galaxy far, far away that we had never seen before, but The Acolyte promises to do something a bit different by giving us the earliest look at Star Wars on the big or small screen.

The Acolyte won’t be set in between films, like the other Disney+ shows have been, but it will instead be set 100 years before events of the prequel trilogy. But another interesting way the upcoming Star Wars show will be different is that it will tie directly into the prequels. Logan’s Dafne Keen, who will co-star in the show, recently told our sister site TechRadar that The Acolyte will explain how the Sith were able to infiltrate the Republic undetected. Keen explained…

I can tease that it's a prequel! No, I mean, as you know, it's set 100 years before the prequel movies, and it's kind of an explanation of how the Sith infiltrated the Jedi. It's a Sith-led story, which has never been done before.

In the prequel trilogy, one of the reasons that the Jedi do not see Palpatine’s plot until it is too late is that the council generally does not believe the Sith are a threat. It’s believed the Sith were completely destroyed at some point in the past.

What we don’t learn in the prequel trilogy is what happened to the Sith. Why did the Jedi believe they were destroyed and how were they able to survive, with Palpatine eventually becoming a Senator and then Chancellor? Some of this has been dealt with in books that are now not considered canon. It seems The Acolyte will give us the new "official" version of this story. Whether Palpatine himself will be part of the story we don’t know, but that wouldn't be too shocking. We never really get a handle on how old Palpatine is in the prequels, and considering that the Dark Side may have the ability to thwart death, he might be quite old. 

The era prior to the prequels has, up to this point, been in the realm of books, with the Star Wars: The High Republic series. The Acolyte is supposed to be set at the tail end of this era, giving us a look at how it ends and how the prequel era, also known as The Fall of the Jedi, begins. While it sounds like the new show could be something of a downer, Dafne Keen says she’s had a lot of fun making the show and is excited to have people see it. She continues… 

It's been really fun to film – the cast is amazing, and the director and crew are just lovely. The whole experience is wonderful, and I'm already excited for people to see it.

When The Acolyte will debut on Disney+ is unknown. Fans will have Season 3 of The Mandalorian to look forward to in early 2023. A second season of Andor is coming as well, but when it will arrive is a big question. The Acolyte may be able to premiere by the end of next year, otherwise we’ll be looking at a 2024 debut.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.